Monday, April 21, 2008


On Readings from The Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems

The Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems began its tour of the world on the outskirts of London, in Kingston, where I read from the book for the first time in January on the way to my first home, the island now known as Sri Lanka. There I launched the book at the Galle Literary Festival. I then took it to Seattle, to Elliot Bay Books, in early March and last week to the central branch of the Vancouver Public Library.

Now, the story turns to New York in May. And the campaign has not gone on too long, not to worry.

The first New York reading promises to be a bit light hearted and optimistic given that it will take place in a laundromat.

Here are a few lines I sent the organizer for use on their website.

I began to use public laundries when I moved to New York, to East 4thStreet in the scruffy, bathroom in the kitchen, Pyramid Club-hopping days....At the time I realized I had to bring my socks to the local stream where instead of rocks to lay down clothes I was obliged to place them on benches and wait my turn while somebody else spun their week's whites dry. I would bring a poetry volume with my clothes and read and imbibe the starchy and powdered air (and look around a bit for a female with whom I could exchange a furtive glance or perhaps a few words about Constantine Cavafy.) Then I entered washing machine and later the dryer and closed my poetry volume and put it inside the hot and sweet smelling bag of newly-minted linen ready for the week and further chance encounters with poetry and its lovers.

The reading is on Sunday May 4 between

4-5pm at Klean and Kleaner, 173 East 2ndStreet between Ave A/B—

On Monday May 5, I will read with other poets in the West Village
at the

Cornelia Street Café, between 6 and 8 pm
29 Cornelia Street

And on Tuesday May 6, I will read from The Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems at 7 p.m. at The Asian American Writers Workshop,
16 West 32nd Street Suite 10A NY NY 10001.

I look forward to giving these poems the works. Cheers.